Microsoft is now taking Windows 8.1 pre-orders

Just days to go before Oct. 18 release date

Boxed copies of Windows 8.1 are available for pre-order. Like, right now.

Eager Win-heads can head over to the Microsoft's online store to step in line for DVDs housing the Windows 8 update, which releases to the public on Oct. 18.

Windows 8.1 will be available Oct. 17 as a free download for those jumping straight from W8, but for those running an older version or picking Windows up for the first time will need to wait a day later and fork over at least $119.99 (about £75,AU$125) for the upgrade.

Windows 8.1 Pro retails for $199.99 (about £128,AU$213).

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As the US News Editor, Michelle (Twitter, Google+) keeps her eye on all things tech with particular interest on phones, tablets and finding out who the people are behind the devices. Any phone that can survive a regular (accidental) drop has her vote for best handset. Michelle previously worked covering local news in the Bay Area and has been with TechRadar since July 2012.